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by: shayera

Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 22:15:38 PM PDT

(Bumped. See also the video thread. And, feel free to post short diaries of your own if you have anything else to update. - promoted by Brian Leubitz)

Please see our new fire thread here.

As we all know, the Los Angeles and San Diego areas are getting hit by some horrific fires. The fires burning right now are in occupied areas. A number of our readers (including me) live near these burns.

Bloodmobiles will be at Qualcomm Stadium until 3:30pm today and at Qualcomm and Del Mar Fairgrounds tomorrow. Give if you can. Stay safe. And drop us a line here if you need anything.

Open Evacuation Centers in San Diego (partial): Qualcomm Stadium, PETCO Park, Steele Canyon High School, Campo Community Center, Mount Carmel High School, Santana High, Escondido High, San Marcos High School, Chula Vista High School, Mission Hills Church (Escondido), Grossmont High, Granite Hills High, new: Carlsbad High, Encinitas Senior Center, New Community Church in Vista, Faith Chapel in Spring Valley.
Google Map with Fire information.  

UPDATE: (8:36pm Lucas) Eastbound 76 is now closed at Melrose Drive in eastern Oceanside.  Fires have moved into Fairbanks Ranch and residents of Del Mar are being told to leave. Anyone unable to self-evacuate should call 858-704-3694.  New fire reported right now. Tierrasanta at Santo Rd. and 52. No details yet...totally new area. "Probably the worst time of day to see something like this."

UPDATE: (8:29pm Lucas) 6 firefighters in critical condition around the corner from me at the UCSD Burn Center. Rice Canyon fire still 0% contained.  Also to reiterate- newest evacuation order includes coastal areas of Torrey Pines, Del Mar, and Solana Beach.  This fire is going all the way to the ocean and it's doing it soon apparently. UPDATED UPDATE: Cowles Mountain fire now fully controlled. I didn't even know there WAS a Cowles Mountain fire.

UPDATE: (8:13pm Lucas): 2,300 inmates being added to the firefighting per the Governor. 34 injuries now reported.  Firefighters are reporting losing valuable time due to people refusing to evacuate. PLEASE just go if directed.  Even if you think you'll be fine, other people won't be. 

UPDATE: (8:02pm Lucas): Proctor Valley Rd. has been breached between Chula Vista and Jamul.  Southeast of Lake Poway there are reports of multiple structures burning.  Lomas Serenas in Escondido has multiple houses burning- 320 home development.  

UPDATE: (7:59pm Lucas) Craigslist community section coming through in the clutch

UPDATE (7:43pm Lucas): LA update per comment at TBogg- Agua Dulce and Castai fires are arson. Who hates America again?

UPDATE (7:40pm Lucas): All wholesale from UT blog: Elderly are being evacuated from Del Mar Fairgrounds by ambulances from Orange and Riverside Counties. "Witch Creek Fire is now 145,000 acres and 0% contained. The cause is under investigation. 600 structures have been destroyed (500 residences, 50 outbuildings and 100 commercial properties). 300 structures have been damaged (250 residences, 75 commercial properties and 50 outbuildings). There has been 7 injuries to firefighters and 1 injury to a civilian. Communities threatened: San Diego, Poway, Ramona, Escondido, Lakeside, Valley Center, San Marcos, Rancho Santa Fe. Currently there are 89 engines, 9 fire crews, 10 dozers, 2 water tenders -- about 625 firefighters. The ICP has been moved to Kit Carson Park (at Kit Carson Park and Bear Valley Parkway)."

UPDATE (7:25pm Lucas): Del Mar Polo Grounds under mandatory evacuation. West of Black Mountain Rd., South of Del Dios Hwy, North of  Sorrento Valley Road all the way to the ocean. Not good.

UPDATE (7:05pm Lucas): Mandatory evacuation order now for Bella Lago community in Chula Vista.

UPDATE (7:03pm Lucas): Reports coming in about price gouging and false evacuation orders. Good to see people banding together...assholes. 

UPDATE (6:53pm Lucas) Live footage of a bulldozer in Ramona literally pushing fire across an open plain.  Recent interview with a woman who evacuated from low-income housing commenting on how she would have no place to go- no other low-income options, they'll end up not being able to afford a new place period. UPDATED UPDATE (6:56) what was presumed to be a backfire is actually reaction to spot fires popping up all over Ramona breaching dozer lines.

UPDATE (6:33pm Lucas): 70 homes confirmed lost in Poway. Voluntary Evac in Carlsbad south of Airport Road. NBC Today Show and Nightly News will report from San Diego tomorrow.  U-T blog has been transferred to blogger to handle the volume. 

 UPDATE (5:52pm Lucas): Escondido has said residents who have been evacuated will not be allowed back for at least 24 hours.  Evacuation area is now south of 52 in the Scripps Ranch area.  Del Mar Fairgrounds have reached full capacity and is now closed.  El Camino High School in Oceanside is now open for evacuees.

UPDATE (5:45pm Lucas): MCAS Miramar is evacuating aircraft to other parts of California.  Mayor Cheryl Cox of Chula Vista: Voluntary evac still in effect, needs cots, air mattresses, sleeping bags at Chula Vista High.  Chula Vistans only- don't clog the highways.  Fires are continuing to approach through Otay Lakes towards Chula Vista.

UPDATE (5:25pm Julia): Just heard from the locals in Potrero that the deceased was wheelchair bound and thus was unable to esscape the fire.  Just awful.

UPDATE (5:00pm Lucas): At least 100 homes burned in Fallbrook.  Fire in the southeast appears to be moving northwest towards Chula Vista.  Mt. Helix evacuations and homes destroyed.

UPDATE (4:53pm Lucas): Insurance reps are setting up "one-stop-shopping" location for relief, probably but not definitely at Qualcomm.  

UPDATE (4:41pm Lucas): Qualcomm desperate for: Prepared Food, milk, ice, cots, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, sunscreen, pet food, air mattresses, canopies for shade, paper towels, handi-wipes, toilet paper, paper plates, cups, utensils, pet food, disposable styrofoam coolers, cell phone chargers/batteries, cash. Can be dropped at Gate P at the stadium via Friars Rd. No homecooked food.

UPDATE (4:34pm Lucas): PETCO Park now open for evacuees.  Customs Enforcement is preparing to evacuate its Otay Mesa detention center.  Mesa Grande Indian Reservation evacuated.  Countywide request for horse trailers.  El Cajon evac centers: El Cajon Animal Shelter for household pets and small livestock. Westfield Parkway Mall for large livestock and RVs/Campers. New Home Depot location open for large livestock and RVs/Campers.

Smoke hangs over San Diego UPDATE (4:27pm Lucas): Rancho Bernardo threat has likely passed. Rancho Santa Fe still burning, Kearny Mesa still manned by firefighters.  At one point today downtown SD was protected by only one fire engine. No damage yet to Scripps Ranch. Out of Black Mountain area.  Still moving west, Firefighters will be out all night.  Text SDFIRE to 85183 for updates.  Evacuations going well, vital that people leave immediately when directed.

UPDATE (4:23pm Lucas): 45000 residents being evacuated from Rice fire; 6-10 structures lost, 1 minor firefighter injury.  Harris 20K+ acres. NE influence towards Otay Mesa and Lakes. San Marcos fire 100% contained.  Basecamp for Harris fire at Gillespie Field.  Witch Creek fire extensive movement through Escondido and City of San Diego, 20K+ acres, containment unknown. Mapping tomorrow.

UPDATE (Monday 4:07pm Lucas): "Many" structures destroyed in Rice Canyon fire, 2 injured, 0% containment, 750 acres, no estimate on containment.

UPDATE: (Monday 4:03pm Lucas) Governor Schwarzenegger pays surprise-ish visit to burn victims.  There are currently 18 victims being treated at the UCSD Burn Center in Hillcrest.  Fiesta Island has now opened to take 500 owners and big animals as of 4pm.

UPDATE: (Monday 3:56pm Lucas) Valley Oaks mobile home park has been completely destroyed.  Mandatory evac: West Alpine, West Eastlake, San Miguel Ranch areas and Rolling Hills Ranch areas.

UPDATE: (Monday 3:50PM Lucas) Check New map with partial info in pictoral form.  Carlsbad east of I-5, parts of Del Mar being evacuated.  El Toro in Orange County. is opening an Evac Center for Fallbrook.  Pendleton is receiving evacuees from Lakeside and Fallbrook.  Power has been fully restored from earlier outages.  Evac for DoD and Military personnel at 32nd Street Naval Base and Coronado.

UPDATE: (Monday 3:47pm Lucas) Chula Vista High School is receiving evacuees from the Otay Mesa and San Ysidro areas

UPDATE: Monday 2:51PM by Brian: Lots of news. The Rice fire has jumped I-15 at Highway 395, with the possibility of arson involved. Chula Vista is now under an optional evacuation order, and Scripps Ranch is entirely closed off, except to exit to the South on I-15. We'll try to time-stamp the updates for now on. There is also a report of a new fire in the Stevenson Ranch area. No real details as of right now.

UPDATE: Monday 3:05PM by Julia: Cell networks are down in SD, overloaded by the traffic.
(old updates over the flip)

shayera :: Fires

UPDATE by Brian: Wow, this could end up being a disaster of historic proportions. Currently the majority of North San Diego is under an evacuation order from I-5 eastward, Nort of 56. Like Shayera said, stay safe and follow all suggestions of the firefighters. And, of course, our thoughts go out to the firefighters that have already been injured, and those currently battling the blazes. Constant updates at the U-T.

UPDATE by Julia: The lone death came from the tiny town of Potrero, they very same town that has been battling Blackwater.  One of the arguments against placing the training base there was the high risk of fire like the Cedar fire.  And now it is happening. 250,000 evacuated and climbing.

UPDATE by Lucas: Rancho Santa Fe is being evacuated as the winds shift and the fire heads in that direction.  Chula Vista in the southwest has activated its emergency plans as well.  Major Evacuation Centers are now set up at Qualcomm Stadium and the Del Mar Fairgrounds as well as smaller sites at schools and community centers throughout the county.  UPDATED UPDATE by Lucas: "Very good chance" that the fire will ultimately reach the coast.

UPDATE by Lucas: Live footage on the news of charred houses in Rancho Bernardo- lots of them.  Fires in Poway and southern Escondido.  Some areas of San Marcos are being reopened. Large animals are being evacuated to the Lakeside Rodeo (east county is horse country).  Del Mar Fairgrounds is only a temporary evac point, no overnight.  People will be sent elsewhere overnight.  Qualcomm Stadium is likely to be open for overnight.  I-15 north of 56 is still mostly closed.  21,000 are currently without power according to SDG&E.  Mira Mesa High School evac point is at capacity and thus closed to new people.  Parts of Leucadia and Lakeside are now under mandatory evacuation in addition to Rancho Santa Fe.

UPDATE by Lucas: North County Fire Chief says the Witch Fire will reach the coast.  Anyone downwind should start making plans to leave. UPDATED UPDATE by Lucas: Flames are in sight of Pomerado Hospital, cresting the hills to the east at about 11am.  Patients are being evacuated via schoolbus and mechanics are pulling firefighting equipment.

UPDATE by Lucas: Officials in Solana Beach are going door to door in some neighborhoods west of I-5 advocating voluntary evacuation.  First evacuations west of I-5. UPDATED UPDATE by Lucas: Evacuations have begun in Del Mar as well.

UPDATE by Lucas: San Diego Unified School District has now closed and will be closed tomorrow. Parents are asked to pick up their kids.

UPDATE by Lucas: Clear Channel radio is now back up after being knocked off. 10,000+ now at Qualcomm according to the U-T.  The Del Mar Racetrack's horse stalls are now full.  South Bay is currently doing alright, the fire has not yet burned into Chula Vista.

UPDATE by Lucas: At least 8 different fires are currently burning throughout San Diego County.  All residents of Solana Beach have been advised to prepare for evacuation extending the earlier voluntary partial evacuation. Call has been put out for pre-packaged food, cots, bedding, sleeping bags, etc. for Qualcomm as people start looking towards spending the night.  Weather service is saying "reason to be optimistic on Wednesday."  That's a long time from now.

UPDATE by Shayera: The Los Angeles County Health Official is issuing an alert due to the quality of the air: County issues health alert due to smoky air.

UPDATE by Lucas: SDSU has cancelled classes for the rest of the day and tomorrow. National Guard is now on standby. Miramar College is closed.  Community of Esmerelda in South County near San Ysidro is being closed down.

UPDATE by David: Here's a little something from America's asshole, Glenn Beck:


"I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today."

UPDATE by Lucas: Fallbrook evacuations are beginning now in the eastern half of the community.  Valley Center mandatory evacuations have begun in the Bear Valley area with Valley Center High School as the evacuation center.  Evacuation centers are starting to open ad hoc in El Cajon for people and livestock.

UPDATE by Lucas: San Ysidro High School, previously designated as an evacuation center, is being evacuated.  Scharzenneger press conference starting now.

UPDATE by Lucas: Office is closing now so I'm heading home to pack up just in case and then get back online in a bit for more updates.  Latest now is that Scripps Ranch is being told to pack up and leave and that there are new evacuations to the south in the Otay Mesa area.  Others can jump in with details for a while or I'll be back whenever I can.


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Fires | 24 comments
Resources (8.00 / 1)
I'll re-post the LA Times link that Robert mentioned below that's tracking all the region's fires:


Also, I'll clarify all of my crazy typos down there.  SD County Supervisor Dianne Jacob was on tv a few minutes ago suggesting that this could be as bad or worse than the Cedar Fire from four years ago.  Also speculated that these fires, starting a solid 50-75 miles inland, could end up having to just burn to the ocean.  In between of course is the vast majority of the 3 million San Diego County residents.  I have a very hard time imagining that her assessment is particularly sane right now, but it does certainly reflect the decidedly pessimistic outlook that everyone seems to have right now.

Further evacuations (8.00 / 1)
Mandatory evacuation for Dulzura area (several thousand people) and now the Poway High School evacuation point is itself being evacuated and moved to Mira Mesa HS.  Not an encouraging sign.

[ Parent ]
Mayor Sanders Press Conference (8.00 / 1)
Witch Fire is expected to move into the San Pasqual Valley between 1am and 2am which would officially put it within San Diego City limits.  San Pasqual Valley aims squarely at Escondido, which is 125-150K people.

[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, in OC (8.00 / 1)
The fire that threatened homes in Irvine has been contained in the places it came nearest to homes - but it's still burning on the ridge, and if winds shift it could again threaten homes in the Tustin area. So far it's burned 4,000 acres even though, as of 11pm, it's only been in existence for 6 hours.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

More Evac in San Diego (8.00 / 1)
Poway and Rancho Bernardo are now evacuating.  Officials are saying it's worse than the disasterous Cedar Fire of 2003.  It's hopped I-15 and is now continuing to burn to the west.  Threatening the Wild Animal Park.  Everyone between I-15 and I-5 (the coast) north of 56 is being evacuated, which includes Rancho Sante Fe, Carmel Highlands, Rancho Bernardo, Del Mar Heights, Fairbanks Ranch and parts of Rancho Penasquitos. Qualcomm Stadium is now being used to shelter evacuees.

Damn (8.00 / 1)
its just horrendous.

[ Parent ]
Damn! (0.00 / 0)
The winds have picked back up here in LA County as well.

"This is a conflagration we knew was going to come at some point," Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said at a Malibu press conference Sunday, noting Southern California's ongoing dry spell. "We were cruising for a bruising. We are very, very lucky as we stand here tonight that the damage has been as limited as it has been."

[ Parent ]
I can't (8.00 / 1)
even begin to imagine what it takes to evacuate the Wild Animal Park.

[ Parent ]
No kidding (8.00 / 1)
Or all of North County...

[ Parent ]
May have dodged a bullet in central OC (8.00 / 1)
Last night the Santiago fire came very close to Tustin, within a half-mile of my grandparents' place and the school where my sister and mother work. By the morning OCFD had pushed back the flames and the voluntary evacuations in the area had been lifted, but the fire is still burning and at the whim of the winds. OCFD says that arson is the cause of this blaze.

And yeah, the situation in SD sounds much worse. The SD area has lots of east-west canyons that can carry fires westward from the foothills and mountains into the heart of the metro areas.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

FYI: OC Democratic central committee meeting canceled (8.00 / 1)
Tonight's regularly scheduled meeting of the Orange County Democratic Central Committee is canceled due to fire-related  public safety concerns.

[ Parent ]
Worth taking a look at my "Arnold's Katrina?" post from June (8.00 / 3)
Arnold's Katrina? Governor vetoed bills to strengthen fire departments

by: djardin
Wed Jun 27, 2007 at 12:28:35 PM PDT
As the Tahoe fire kicks off an extremely dangerous fire season, the Governor's budget-cutting has left the state's fire departments woefully short on recommended equipment and staff.

  On May 20, 2007, the Los Angeles Times ran an article, Fire danger acute as '03 lessons fade, detailing the failure of the state to act on recommendations stemming from the worst wildfires in the state's history.

The article lays out many recommendations by Schwarzenegger's Blue Ribbon Fire Commission that have not been funded.  Many of them are mission critical...

I remember that post well (8.00 / 1)
Such a shame that it's now come to pass - but the warnings have been out there for some time. Later in the week I hope to start generating some discussion on the politics of these fires. Arnold's Katrina indeed.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
A number of radio stations (8.00 / 2)
are off the air. All Clear Channel station are down.

Other misc updates:

The fire in the south is still burning, but their are fewer homes in the path, so we're not hearing as much about that. However there is still a serious threat from that fire.

The Silver Strand and Torrey Pines parks are open for people with RVs or trailers.

There are about 5000 people at Qualcomm Stadium, and they're accepting donations of blankets, cots, etc. I heard truckloads of emergency supplies are already arriving there.

Here's a bit of Arnold's statement: (8.00 / 2)
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger warned today that the firestorms raging across Southern California remain extremely dangerous, but he applauded firefighters for a quicker and more coordinated response than four years ago. "It's a tragic time for California," said Schwarzenegger, who on Sunday declared a state of emergency throughout seven counties. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at a Malibu morning press conference this morning said the firestorm raging across Southern California remains extremely dangerous, but he applauded firefighters for a quicker and more coordinated response than four years ago.

"It's a tragic time for California," said Schwarzenegger, who on Sunday declared a state of emergency throughout seven counties.

After touring affected areas in Malibu, the governor held a news conference, where he said he was pleased with how quickly resources were marshalled, including firefighters called in from throughout the region and Nevada.

"One thing is clear, we've learned a lot in the last five years...I thank everyone for the great effort."

The coordination seems to be excellent (8.00 / 1)
But it doesn't seem that there's a whole lot that can be done.

[ Parent ]
Adequate temporary housing in SoCal? (7.00 / 3)
Is there a need for people in Northern California to put up the temporarily displaced, or are we not at that point yet?

A Rough & Tumble reader.

Check with Lucas and the San Deigo (8.00 / 1)
people. They're being evacuated at greater numbers than LA at the moment.

[ Parent ]
Without meaning to sound alarmist (8.00 / 2)
I don't think that many if any people can get out of San Diego right now if they wanted to.  Probably going to be another day or two at least before people are seriously being moved out of local evac centers.

[ Parent ]
Airport (8.00 / 1)
Airport is still open and apparently fine.  I-5 North is dead stop and south is moving but I'm not sure where it's moving to exactly.  Some people skipped town early on so there are already a few scattered around NoCal and points beyond but so far everyone's mostly just getting packed closer and closer to downtown it seems.

[ Parent ]
ANyone wants to crash in Santa Monica (8.00 / 1)
I've got an extra bedroom.-d

[ Parent ]
Mandatory evacuations (8.00 / 1)
were just announced for the west side of Alpine, Harbison Canyon and Crest.

Wild Animal Park Safe (0.00 / 0)
Endangered animals protected.

Fires | 24 comments
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